Log Book of the USS Essex, April 1, 1877-September 30, 1877 (#2) Transcription
USS Essex was designed by the North American shipbuilder Donald McKay. McKay is widely recognized as the premier shipwright and designer in 19th Century America. His fast clipper ships broke all speed records during the mid-19th Century. and his ship Flying Cloud held the speed record from the New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn from 1851-1989. USS Essex was the last ship McKay designed and constructed. Her keel was laid in 1874 and she was launched in 1876 as one of the last class of wooden-hulled American Naval vessels and one of the last out-fitted with auxiliary sails.
Commander Winfield Scott Schley (9 October 1839 - 2 October 1911) was in charge of USS Essex from her launching until mid-1879. Winfield Scott Schley is well-known for his actions during the Spanish-American War where he commanded the Flying Squadron on his flagship USS Brooklyn, an armored cruiser, at the Battle of Santiago Bay. Schley retired from the US Navy in 1901 with the rank of Rear Admiral.
This second log book of USS Essex contains much interesting information about the daily workings of the ship. Among the crew are Henry Simpson and John Millmore, two United States Medal of Honor recipients for their actions in October 1877 on board Essex, when they saved the life of a fellow crewman, John Powers. Further, this log book mentions interactions with several United States Naval Warships including the USS Hartford (Rear Admiral Farragut’s flagship at the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War), USS Tallapoosa, USS Supply, USS Canandaigua, USS New Hampshire, USS Pawnee, USS Plymouth, USS Powhatan, USS Huron, USS Swatara, USS Saugus, USS Catskill, USS Mahopac, USS Franklin, USS Leleigh, USS Ajax, USS Ossipee, and one of Essex’s sister ships, USS Enterprise. Several US commercial and foreign vessels are also mentioned including the Portuguese steamer Luso, English Steamer Wist, New York mail steamer City of Havana, US mail steamer City of Mexico, mail steamers State of Texas, Margaret, and City of Houston, steamer City of Dallas, English steamers Ancola, Viella, and Africa, English Transport Orontes, English barque Jessie, Pinta, German steamer Luxo, whaling barque Petrel, Danish brig Nordley/Nodby, and Mexican gun boats Libestat and Libertad.
USS Essex worked around the world as a US Navy Sloop of War and then as a training vessel in the Atlantic and the Great Lakes. She ended her long service in Duluth, Minnesota and is now a National Register of Historic Places-recognized shipwreck - and the only known example of Donald McKay's craftsmanship known to survive anywhere in the world.
Sixty-two of Essex's log books are known and Maritime Heritage Minnesota received Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants – part of the Legacy Amendment - to digitize, edit, and transcribe these books. This is a transcription of log book #2.
In Copyright. This work is copyrighted to Ann Merriman, Christopher Olson, and Maritime Heritage Minnesota. It cannot be duplicated, altered, or hosted online by an unauthorized third party. It cannot be sold for a profit or used to make a profit by any unauthorized third party and no commercial use is allowed. It can be used as a scholarly resource with proper citation to Ann Merriman, Christopher Olson, and Maritime Heritage Minnesota.
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